Diary Barcelona: A Visit To Barcelona Television/FM Studios – Part One

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The passion of every television station is to entertain, give first-hand information and run programs the public will be interested. Technology has made today’s television the most popular electronic appliance in the world. For a number of years now, Barcelona Televisio has been one of the best local television centers in Barcelona, influencing much of the day-to-day activities of local civic life.

On July 14, 2015, I was delighted to meet Mr. Jordi Colom, the technical director of Barcelona Televisio, in Spain, who took me around the entire studio to explain the activities behind the success of the television and the radio studios, to discover the influence and impact of technology in today’s modern journalism and mass communication.

Barcelona Televisió, also known as BTV, is a channel of local television, publicly owned and managed by a municipal subsidiary of the city of Barcelona. The broadcasts began on November 3, 1994, in a small place located at Via Laietana, in Barcelona, with the success of unification of the channels and service in each district, under the company information in Comunicació de Barcelona.


Cross section of journalists at Barcelona Televisio.

Among the objectives of the Barcelona Televisió (BTV) is to become a municipal channel which would encourage citizen participation. Programs offered from its studios include half-hour information, debate, and contents provided by each district television, serving the people in the Catalan language.

With its own language, laws, and customs, independent-minded Catalonia, is one of Spain’s richest and most highly industrialized regions. With a distinguished history stretching back to the early middle ages, many Catalans think of themselves as people not part of Spain.

Under the management of Mr. Sergi Vicente, since 2008, Barcelona Televisio has followed different programming models but has remained a model of proximity and public service.  The success of the television facilitated the creation of the company’s FM station service in 2014, naming it Barcelona FM.

On a familiarization tour, the technical director painstakingly explained the work of the journalists servicing various departments, how the studios operate each day for viewers and how information is gathered and disseminated to the general public. According to Mr. Colom, the locals, referring to the Catalan, increasingly desires local TV programming, including the weather and the traffic, because they rely on those two things to carry out their daily activities.


Photo: Mr. Jordi Colom, the Technical Director and the visiting journalist Mr. Joel Savage

The well-organized studios provide news writing, editing, technical activities, interviews etc; and also local government affairs programming, regional sports, and news, with great impact on many individuals.

Programming of BTV, based now on the public service and minority-minded, was renovated completely in September 1997. Directed by Manuel Huerga, who won a public competition for the design of programs, the grill was divided into two strips. Spaces of short duration, no more than five minutes, which highlighted the news and cultural agenda.

Television is indeed a wonderful tool which has brought comfort to our homes, as millions of people depend on simultaneously as a source of entertainment, information and to carry out businesses, but there is nothing more interesting than discovering its anatomy and activities. Visiting Barcelona Televisio is the best experience I will never forget.

A Throne In Brussels: Britain, The Saxe-Coburgs And The Belgianisation Of Europe

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Paul Belien argues that the pan-European super-state currently in the making will resemble a ‘Greater Belgium’ rather than a ‘Greater Switzerland’, since Europe will also be an artificial construct.

Belgium has infected EU political attitudes and acts as a model for the EU — a failed attempt to’construct a nation’ out of different peoples with separate languages and traditions.

To learn what the EU as a single state might be like, take up this highly readable mix of history, analysis and warning. You’ll never feel the same about Belgium or Europe again.

The Author


Paul Belien (1959) has a Law degree (specialisations in Social Security Law and European Law) and a doctorate in International Studies. He worked as a professional journalist in both Belgium and the Netherlands. Paul Belien is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and of the Property and Freedom Society.

He is an Adjunct Fellow of the Hudson Institute.  Paul Belien was one of the nine “founding fathers” of the Flemish liberal party VLD in 1991-1992, but he did not join this party when it became obvious that its leader, Guy Verhofstadt, was steering it into a leftist and neutralist, rather than a hayekian/libertarian and Atlanticist direction. Paul Belien is married to Irish-born Dr. Alexandra Colen, a former lecturer in linguistics at the universities of Ghent and Antwerp, and an MP for the Flemish-secessionist party Vlaams Bloksince 1995.

Paul Belien is the author of numerous articles, essays and books, including, most recently, A Throne in Brussels. He is the co-author – together with Lady Thatcher, Lord Tebbit, Philippe Seguin and others – Visions of Europe(Duckworth, 1994) and – with Harvard Business School’s Prof. Regina Herzlinger – Consumer-Driven Health Care (Jossey-Bass, 2004). He has given lectures on European health care systems in various countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia.


Are Robots Going To Take Away Our Jobs?


The birth of technology is not only amazing but also advancing rapidly daily. The power of the internet facilitates business throughout the world, creating flexible online or e-commerce services for manufacturers and consumers. It’s more amazing as robots are now able to do jobs of real people. For example robots are programmed to diffuse bombs and mine at the mine fields.

Japan has launched the first robot receptionist at work. She calls herself ChihiraAico. “My name is ChihiraAico. How do you do?” she says in Japanese, blinking and nodding to customers in the foyer of Mitsukoshi, Japan’s oldest department store chain.

Clad in an elegant traditional kimono, ChihiraAico—a name that sounds similar to a regular Japanese woman’s name—breaks into a rosy-lipped smile as would-be shoppers approach.

Unlike her real-life counterparts—almost always young women—who welcome customers to shops like this, ChihiraAico cannot answer questions, but simply runs through her pre-recorded spiel.

People look at humanoid robot 'Pepper'

Pepper the chatty robot makes friends on first day at work.

The android, with lifelike skin and almost (but not quite) natural-looking movements, was developed by microwaves-to-power stations conglomerate Toshiba, and unveiled at a tech fair in Japan last year.

“We are aiming to develop a robot that can gradually do what a human does,” said Hitoshi Tokuda, chief specialist at Toshiba.

“The standard of customer service in this Mitsukoshi flagship store is top quality and this is a great opportunity to see what role our humanoid can play in this kind of environment.”

ChihiraAico will receive customers at the store until Tuesday, before taking part in a series of promotional events over the upcoming Golden Week holidays.



Kobo Unveils New E-Reader To Take On Kindle Voyage

Kobo launches its latest e-reader today, the Kobo Glo HD, which it bills as a device featuring “the highest resolution screen available on the market, at the lowest price.”

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At $129.99, the device is $70 cheaper than the $199 Kindle Voyage, which Amazon rolled out in September last year.

The Glo HD features a six-inch, 300 ppi Carta E Ink HD touchscreen, a 1GHz processor and an estimated two months of battery life (based on 30 minutes of daily reading), making it a top-shelf e-reader as far as specs are concerned.

Kobo says its target user is a committed print reader who hasn’t yet gone digital, but the Glo HD also seems aimed at attracting premium e-reader aficionados who are looking to upgrade for less.

The device is Kobo’s latest since launching the Aura H2O, the first waterproof e-reader, last August.

[Press Release]


High-Performing Women Reaching Senior Management Positions

Whatever a man can do, can a woman do it and even better? Women are considered a weaker vessel in the society, many experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination, just because they are women. I think it is time to acknowledge the fact many women are doing equally or better than men in whatever profession they represent in the society today.

The 6th Annual European E-Commerce Conference which took place last year November 18, 2014, brought many speakers from the commerce sector, including Susanne Czech, secretary General, EMOTA, Antti Peltomaki, Deputy Director General, DG ENTR, European, Vicky Ford, Chair Internet Market and Consumer Protection, Tod Cohen etc; the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Global Government Relations, Ebay to give talks.


Among the participants that gave key note speech, there was one particular lady whose interesting biography caught my attention. She was Cindy Miller. Since April 2013, she has been president of UPS Europe. Quick reference: UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages, freight and the facilitation of international trade globally.

Cindy Miller who has a long service, 25 years professional career, began working for UPS as a one of the van drivers. A native of Pennsylvania, USA, Cindy Miller worked her way up through positions, taking responsibility for all the UPS operations in more than 120 countries and territories across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).



Cindy Miller started as UPS driver and now leads as president of the company 

Cindy Miller’s uncountable tasks and recent assignments include heading the UPS UK, Ireland and the Nordics, where she was the leader responsible for UPS outstanding performance as Official Logistics and Express Delivery Supporter of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics’ Games.

Cindy Miller’s historical professional background is truly inspiring to encourage and support women’s development through programming.